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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Spring Expansion Help

    So I have been thinking about what I want to do in the spring. Here are my goals for hive count in the fall: three to four warre hives, six langs, and three to four nucs. At this point in the year I have two healthy langs and one warre. The langs are in eight frame equipment and with two deeps and one med. My warre had four boxes and I have two drawn boxes in the garage. I don't really have any extra Lang combs right now, but my tbhs have all sucked in the two years I have had them. They are both dead right now. I fully plan on cutting the comb off of the top bar and strapping them to empty Lang frames. This should give them a head start.

    Part of my plan includes buying packages in the spring. I have enough cash saved up for four packages. I will put three packages into langs and the other in the two drawn warre boxes. So that brings me to five langs and two warres. At this point I need one full Lang, all of my nucs, and one or two warres.

    So I will need to get the rest out of splits. Once my packages have fully filled out a deep I plan on starting to split and correct me if my timing is off. I plan on taking three brood combs out of one of my langs and placing it above an excluder in my other (both of these are my overwintered hives) Lang in order to populate it.

    Question- Do I ensure that all bees are off the combs or just tap them so that flyers come off?

    The next day remove brood combs and place in deep with a pollen/honey comb. I would also like to rear queens, but I suspect this split won't be strong enough. So my plan is to remove the queen from a package and place it in the new split.

    Next question- How do you get attendants into the queen cage for intro?

    Then graft with the queenless hive. Come back later to pinch off any unwanted queen cells.

    Now I don't want to ruin the honey production of my overwintered hives. So I don't plan on really splitting them really hard, but I don't know what is a reasonable number. I don't know if I should just leave it at one split from these hives until after the main flow or split twice.

    After the queen cells are ready to harvest I plan on splitting my warres until I get my goal. I will also try to make my nucs. I guess I will have to see how my packages and wintered gives look. Maybe I just take onw brood comb from each to make three nucs or some other variation.

    That should get me close to my goal if all goes well. What does everybody think of that? Anything that could be done differently that would improve my plan?
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    You might want to check out the Cloake board method for raising queens from your Langs. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/using-t...-raise-queens/

    I'm planning on using the double screen board to split my Warre hive this Spring. That is, if my bees survive the winter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    I'm in a similar situation. I have 2 healthy ( I think) Lang Hives, it's been to snowy and cold to go opening the boxes but I do have a few dead bees outside. My plan it to break each Hive into 2-3 nucs after they've been feeding for a few weeks. This should give me up to 6 nucs before May? I'm also planning on buying other Northern Queens to help add genetics to the apiary. The packages you buy will be Southern Queens which I don't think are worth the money it they'll live up north.

    Personally I would try splitting the 3 you'll have, buy Queens and save your package money to buy nucs from Mann Lake @ $23.50 and other Northern Queens from surrounding areas.

    You should be able to get 9-12 strong hives plus new nucs going into winter for 2013.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    I don't believe Mann lake sells nucs. I would just buy queens and split the crap out of my hives, but I want some honey this year. So I am trying to split them but not so much that I kill their production.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    Not full of bees but they sell nuc boxes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    I've got plenty of hardware. I just need bees.

    What about some of my original questions? Any insight with those?

    Question- Do I ensure that all bees are off the combs or just tap them so that flyers come off?
    Next question- How do you get attendants into the queen cage for intro?
    I think I had more embedded into the op, but these were highlighted. Thanks in advance.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    The workers will return home to the queen, while the nursery bees can't fly yet. You don't really need to do much other then split the hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    Quick answer. Sorry not time for real details today.

    Question- Do I ensure that all bees are off the combs or just tap them so that flyers come off?
    A: No. Don't remove the bees, don't tap the frame. Quietly move it from the parent hive to the split. When doing a split like this, take all the bees on the frame (except the Q of course). The nurse bees will stay with the comb in the new hive. The foragers will return to the parent location.

    Next question- How do you get attendants into the queen cage for intro?
    A: No need to if she is in a cage. The nurse bees will feed her through the cage. If she does not come with attendants, then you can't add strange attendants to her anyway.
    Besides, it is regularly recommended that the attendants be removed from the Q cage when introducing her anyway.

    If I read this right, the goal is to get 2 more Warres, a Lang, and 3-4 nucs from splits from 3 overwintered hives and still getting honey production? That is pretty ambitious. Be careful, if the weather is anything like has been for the past 4 years, it will be difficult to keep splits alive again. Plan on losing some.

    I would talk to some of the experienced BKs who know local beekeeping timetables. See what they can add to your plan. My time table here is Southern Missouri is different than yours in MN.

    I wish you Good Luck
    Last edited by Maddox65804; 01-08-2013 at 11:32 AM. Reason: needed to fix my grammer
    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    I intend to use two hives to get the initial split.

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/spring/progress.htm

    See this link to get the idea. The main idea here is to take mostly brood from one hive and populate it with nurse bees from a second hive. That way you rob resources from two hives and don't drastically weaken either hive. You remove the brood combs and put it above an excluder on another hive. Nurse bees cover frames and you can remove frames. This way you have some confidence that your bees won't drift back home.

    I guess I would rather get a honey crop than make the nucs. I guess my hope is that I can build my wintered colonies with protein patties and have enough of a population to make a couple of splits. Then when it's time to make the nucs maybe the packages will have a brood comb to spare...maybe.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    Well I ordered four packages from mann lake. I intend to use one of them for a warre. I have two drawn boxes sitting in my garage from a dead out. So they will get a great start. So the other three packages will go into langs. I have about 3/4 of a 4 ft tbh of brood comb to cut out and rubber band into deep Lang frames. So that should also be some help.

    I am thinking that I should change my goal for next year to be 5 langs, 4 warres, and 2 nucs. This way I would already reach my goals with my langs from packages again assuming that my two langs and one warre continue to do well. If my warre survives then I will have two with the package. So if my overwintered warre does well and expands into three boxes I could split them into singles and add a queen cell. Then bladow I have my goal for warres. Then I just need a few Lang nucs. I should be able to pull a couple of nucs off of my two overwintered langs as swarm prevention.

    I may be thinking out loud or to myself, but I figure that somebody may have some good input.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Spring Expansion Help

    You should be able to do a "cut down" split from each Lang this spring, so that's four hives in Langstroth equipment. Use one box of drawn comb and one empty box for each Warre, so that's two more.

    I think you should be good.

    Then, later in the summer, do another set of splits for your overwintering nucs, maybe in late July. Feed them like crazy and fatten them up, should be OK.

    Also, get your name on the swarm list locally -- swarms are cheap (in fact, people PAY for you to come and remove bees!) and will be nice, healthy, comb making hives. Be aware that they often supersede the queen, though, so may lag about a month after you hive them.

    Again, feed them like crazy when you make splits. There is absolutely no percentage in forcing a hive with small numbers to forage for themselves if you expect anything other than a box of empty comb for a result!

    Peter

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